2020 has been, without a doubt, one of the most polarizing years in recent history. While many industries had to make drastic changes to avoid significant losses and stay afloat, some have actually come out on top. One of the winners of 2020 is eCommerce, which has felt a significant boost to growth. According to the most recent estimates, eCommerce retail sales are expected to reach an impressive $6.54 trillion by 2023 (in comparison to $3.53 trillion in 2019). Because of this, new trends are emerging, which will have a significant impact on the future of online shopping. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most prominent eCommerce trends of 2021.
Voice search for eCommerce
Back in 2018, voice search was used by a measly 5% of consumers. Now, however, it is expected to reach 50% as soon as 2022, reports say. Furthermore, voice search sales are estimated to reach an impressive $40 billion in the same year.
What causes the sudden spike of interest in voice commerce platforms? Simple: besides being a very convenient way to browse the web, the rapid development of this technology allows it to be more and more accurate. Moreover, the increasing popularity of voice assistants such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa boosts the adoption of voice search even further.
Nevertheless, many online businesses are still quite slow to this new digital trend. Therefore, eCommerce owners who adopt it sooner have a great chance to get ahead of the curve and have a head start on the competition when the trend is in full swing.
Here are a few tips on what you can do to optimize your online store for voice search:
- Use long-tail key phrases that are highly contextualized to optimize your web pages for actual questions rather than exact keywords
- Make sure your website is fast, secure (uses HTTPS), and works well on mobile
- Create a voice-based option for your website navigation
- Streamline your checkout process to make it easier to complete with voice commands
Omnichannel retailing has been gaining traction over the years, and 2021 will be no exception. A survey by Harward Business Review found that 73% of responders use multiple channels in their online shopping, And the survey was conducted in 2017, almost four years ago. Unsurprisingly, this number is expected to be even higher in the coming years.
By embracing this trend, eCommerce businesses can expand their audience, induce growth, and see significant improvements in their bottom line.
Here are some tips on how to optimize your online store for omnichannel retailing:
- Make sure your website works well on different devices, from desktops to mobile phones and tablets
- Provide purchasing options for your customers (buy online, pick up in-store; buy online, get home delivery, etc.)
- Analyze your data extensively to be aware of your customer shopping patterns, and use the said data to provide a seamless and personalized shopping experience
An already popular trend among online shoppers will only continue to grow in 2021. By the end of the year, mobile devices are expected to account for 73% of all online sales, reaching an impressive $3.56 trillion, a report says.
This is a clear sign for all online retailers that mobile shopping is the future. A mobile-friendly store that provides a seamless experience will keep your customers engaged, and entice them to come back and shop again. Moreover, it will help you improve your shopping cart abandonment by as much as 30%.
Check out some useful tips on website mobile optimization here.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR)
By the end of 2021, AI in eCommerce is predicted to drive the business of $49 billion, reports say. Clever use of AI provides almost limitless possibilities for an online business that is willing to invest in it.
From sales to customer service and marketing – an AI-powered system can do it all. A smart recommendation engine analyzes shopping patterns and offers goods that your customers are the most likely to purchase. Chatbots can help your employees be more efficient at providing high-quality customer service. Advanced analytical and marketing tools ensure the success of your campaigns. These are just a few examples of how helpful an AI is to an online store. The rapid development of the technology allows it to constantly find new uses.
Augmented reality is also steadily finding its way to online stores, now especially more than ever. The quarantine affects prevent many customers from physically inspecting or trying on goods that they intend to purchase. This is where an AR feature comes in handy. According to some estimates, over 120 000 online stores are expected to implement AR technology by 2022, providing a memorable and satisfying experience for their customers.
eCommerce businesses have much to gain from both AI and AR. Furthermore, if you own a Magento store – you can count yourself lucky. Magento has launched a recommendation engine this year, powered by the powerful Adobe Sensei AI. Our Magento development team can implement it into your store without any hassle, so feel free to reach out.
Nearly 65% of responders surveyed by the Harward Business Review stated that, when choosing where to make a purchase, they prefer brands that focus on sustainability. For eCommerce businesses, this means that by advocating green consumerism, you raise your chances of attracting more customers, and securing more sales.
More and more prominent eCommerce companies pledge to implement practices that are environmentally friendly in the future. Amazon, for example, intends to go completely carbon-free by 2040. Companies that become “green” sooner significantly raise their chances of becoming major players in the online retail market in the coming years.
Some of the steps that you can take towards embracing green consumerism include:
- Be open about your goals and the “green” practices that you will use to achieve them
- Provide regular updates on the status of your goals
- Switch to eco-friendly packaging use eco-friendly alternatives for your existing products
- Use email rather than paper to send receipts
Bonus trend: Dynamic pricing
Dynamic pricing is another emerging trend among eCommerce retailers that already helps many stay ahead of the competition and attract more customers. Studies found that carefully crafting and implementing a unique strategy can boost your revenue by as much as 25%. Dynamic pricing software is definitely something to consider in your business development plans for the following year.
Meet 2021 with a bang
By implementing any of the mentioned eCommerce trends in 2021, your business can quickly secure a dominant position in the market for the years to come. When it comes to trends in eCommerce industry, it is important to act quickly and get a head start while others are still thinking about it. And, if you require professional assistance with your eCommerce development – reach out! Forbytes has extensive experience helping businesses reach their goals with technology.